Kershaw dominant, Dodgers beat Brewers 5-2, lead NLCS 3-2
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clayton Kershaw bounced back from one of his worst postseason starts with one of his best, pitching the Los Angeles Dodgers past the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 Wednesday to move one win from a return trip to the World Series.
The Dodgers took a 3-2 lead in the NL Championship Series, boosted by Max Muncy’s go-ahead single in the sixth inning. Kershaw held the lead, scoring an insurance run in the seventh and then exiting.
Game 6 is Friday night in Milwaukee. The Brewers will start left-hander Wade Miley, who walked Cody Bellinger to open Game 5 before getting pulled in an interesting piece of strategy by manager Craig Counsell. Lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu will go for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers haven’t been in back-to-back World Series since losing to the Yankees in 1977 and ’78. They were beaten by Houston in Game 7 last year.
The teams reconvened less than 15 hours after the Dodgers eked out a 2-1 victory Tuesday night on Cody Bellinger’s RBI single with two outs in a 13-inning game that lasted over five hours.
Kershaw was well-rested and masterful in allowing one run and three hits over seven. He struck out nine, all on breaking pitches, and walked two.
“I don’t know if it was that much better, just a little bit better execution maybe. Maybe I threw some more curveballs today than I did in Game 1,” Kershaw said.
The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner pitched in and out of trouble in the third, when the Brewers loaded the bases and scored their lone run. Kershaw struck out Jesus Aguilar to end the third, the first of 13 consecutive batters that the left-hander retired.
Curtis Granderson hit an RBI double in the ninth. Kenley Jansen, the Dodgers’ third pitcher of the ninth, came in for the last two outs and the save.
Brewers star Christian Yelich, who nearly won the NL Triple Crown this season, was hitless in four at-bats.